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Bill Davis
Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 3, 2013 at 12:24:35 am

Interesting Post-NAB reflection piece in Broadcast Engineering that was pushed today.

The times are still changing rapidly in the Broadcast world.

http://tinyurl.com/d2qlv4u

FWIW.

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Michael Sanders
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 3, 2013 at 8:30:04 am

Er that's what I call stating the bleeding obvious!

Have you been in a new HD TV studio recently?

Last time I was in a state of the art TV Studio (about 3 weeks ago) the vision mixer was from GVG, The router was from Probel. In the studio and OB's I've been in Sound desks are by Neve/Calrec/Studer

Cap Gens by Chryon or old Astons etc. Talkback - well Drake's gone but there are others there.

It's all pretty much the same as the companies whose kit I worked with 25 yrs ago when I started in news.

Yes they have changed their product lines because we've gone from 625 composite PAL to HD and file based workflows.

What those companies understand is that what broadcasters still need are a) reliability you can only get from dedicated hardware and b) aftercare where by engineers come out at stupid times of the day to replace stuff or will be on the phone at stupid times of the day.

Sadly a lot of the new companies who desperately want some of that business still don't understand those two very important criteria.

Michael Sanders
London Based DP/Editor


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Walter Soyka
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 3, 2013 at 5:33:05 pm

Wow, there's some really cool stuff in that article:

Snell
At The NAB Show, Snell launched its new “Snell On Demand” framework, that marks the beginning of a company-wide migration of its image-processing tools from dedicated hardware platforms to software-based applications that can be elastically provisioned in file, cloud-based and virtualized infrastructures.

Quantel
Quantel has gone from a company that offered proprietary hardware solutions that were considered too costly for many, to a software-based company that is now leveraging an “Internet of Frames” strategy and the remote (“cloud”) storage, where every frame gets a unique ID and can be retrieved and manipulated very quickly. Using this new IT-friendly strategy, users might not need to invest in an archive on premises and can leverage the lower cost of off-the-shelf workstations running Quantel software.

Grass Valley
For its part, Grass Valley, perhaps most significantly of all, has refreshed its now trademark cameras with a new line, called the LDX series, that allows a user to purchase software “e-licenses” that can be accessed over the Internet to add new features and functionality via a simple download. Mobile production companies and rental houses are two initially targeted applications.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Greg Andonian
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 3, 2013 at 8:25:34 pm

[Walter Soyka] Snell

Wait- so, it's just Snell now? What happened to Wilcox??

Wow, looks like more is being jettisoned than I realised... :)

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Walter Soyka
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 3, 2013 at 8:53:01 pm

[Greg Andonian] "Wait- so, it's just Snell now? What happened to Wilcox??"

It's just been Snell for four years now. Snell is to Apple as Wilcox is to Computer.

Walter Soyka
Principal & Designer at Keen Live
Motion Graphics, Widescreen Events, Presentation Design, and Consulting
RenderBreak Blog - What I'm thinking when my workstation's thinking
Creative Cow Forum Host: Live & Stage Events


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Bill Davis
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 3, 2013 at 8:59:44 pm

[Walter Soyka] "Snell is to Apple as Wilcox is to Computer."

The transitive property of brand consolidation!

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Robert Bracken
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 3, 2013 at 9:14:25 pm

As someone forced to use Quantel, Sony Clip Edit and other Enterprise editing systems a BIG MIDDLE FINGER to those pieces of software. (Not the people who developed them. Sorry for being crude.)

I had to invest my own dollars on Adobe suite of products so my skills wouldn't suffer and so I could earn jobs outside the workplace.

The people making the decisions are the people using the equipment and they set my career back by making us use that sorry-stupid software.

The reason Apple abandoned the Pro users is because sometimes the Pro users don't have a say in what software to use. With a $299 price point it will get a AWESOME piece of software into more hands.

Again, sorry for being crude.


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Greg Andonian
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 3, 2013 at 9:39:11 pm

[Robert Bracken] The reason Apple abandoned the Pro users is because sometimes the Pro users don't have a say in what software to use. With a $299 price point it will get a AWESOME piece of software into more hands.

This logic doesn't make sense to me, since FCP was already deeply entrenched. Convincing people to edit with FCP Legacy wasn't all that difficult.

______________________________________________
"Up until here, we still have enough track to stop the locomotive before it plunges into the ravine... But after this windmill it's the future or bust."


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Bill Davis
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 3, 2013 at 11:47:22 pm

[Greg Andonian] "The reason Apple abandoned the Pro users is because sometimes the Pro users don't have a say in what software to use. With a $299 price point it will get a AWESOME piece of software into more hands.
"


First it's a false premise. Apple hasn't abandoned pro users. They've abandoned Pro Users who want or need to keep editing in a fashion that their decade old flagship NLE - FCP-Leagacy was designed to accommodate. That's all.

They're now focused on a new i class of "pro user" who are more interested in metadata management, raster independence, higher pixel information densities and web deployment than they are in conforming exclusively to well established traditional broadcast and feature workflows.

The Apple bet is that there are more people who want a smaller set of newer tools, than who need to remain compatible with historical broadcast and movie workflows.

The Adobe camp is betting that their "hybrid" approach - sticking with the traditional timeline only interface but with new engines and processes bolted around it, will capture those who want the flavor of the past with the higher performance enabled by today's better hardware.

On the marketing side, Adobe is selling a dozen plus programs in a (to me) somewhat bewildering array of niche products and bundles while heavily promoting a subscription model for which you pay a monthly tab forever to keep your tools current.

Apple is selling one product for $299 (albiet with two $49 add ons.) that provide most of what a modern web-oriented digital editing suite needs to do in a downloadable "pay once and own it" package. (eventual upgrade costs, if any, are unknown at this point)

Only time will tell how the market judges each approach.

I think Apple is absolutely to concentrate on their vision of the future, rather than focusing on keeping as true as possible to their past - but others with a different level of investment will see that differently.

Such is life.

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Dennis Radeke
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 4, 2013 at 11:52:49 am

[Bill Davis] "metadata management, raster independence, higher pixel information densities and web deployment "

Not for nothing, but Adobe and other NLEs have been doing this for some time - considerably longer than Apple has. Not saying you're incorrect, just that Apple isn't the only one thinking about such broad ideas. Before we start picking at the minutiae, I think all NLEs have some really cool things and FCP X definitely has some!

[Bill Davis] "The Adobe camp is betting that their "hybrid" approach - sticking with the traditional timeline only interface but with new engines and processes bolted around it"

I would rephrase to say that Adobe is listening to customer feedback on what they want. It is a different approach. We're thinking different! ;-) Whether we're skating to puck or where the puck is going to be only time will tell (I figured someone would bring the metaphor in there at some point)...

Also, 'bolted' would imply that Premiere Pro is not a seamless solution, which it is. I understand your preference in NLE so take no ill will. Clearly, I have preferences too!!!

Dennis - Adobe guy


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Bill Davis
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 4, 2013 at 5:46:16 pm

[Dennis Radeke] "I would rephrase to say that Adobe is listening to customer feedback on what they want."

Totally.

The $64,000 question has always been whether "the audience" is an entity that can reliably see what they MIGHT want in the future - rather than being constrained by their current habits into thinking that all that will be available is a gussied up version of what they already enjoy.

Nothing wrong with that. Refinement is a noble undertaking. And everything doesn't always need constant re-invention. But sometimes after a long, long time of doing things one way - it's refreshing to think of whether or not there ARE better ways.

Your very company did precisely that back when Mr. Warnock et al "re-invented" typesetting for the digital age.

Now one of your major competitors has decided the time is appropriate to re-invent some of the basic assumptions about video editing and deployment software.

I'm not smart enough or informed enough to do more than guess about why they thought that was important, but they did.

So the race is on.

A good race between well-conditioned runner is always exciting, no?

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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Chris Harlan
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 4, 2013 at 8:36:58 pm

[Bill Davis] "The $64,000 question has always been whether "the audience" is an entity that can reliably see what they MIGHT want in the future - rather than being constrained by their current habits into thinking that all that will be available is a gussied up version of what they already enjoy.
"


That was the 64K question back some years before the turn of the century, and generally asked by people old enough to get the game show reference. I don't know anybody in the business who doesn't think 20th century viewing habits in the US will finally flatline sometime soon after the last CSI is taken off life support. You seem to be missing the diversification that has taken place over the last two decades. Networks stream their own videos, and have for some time. iTunes has been selling shows for almost a decade.

Yes, companies that make their profit by owning bunches of affiliates have a potentially serious problem. But their problem is not coming from competition with youtube. Their problem is that they own little or no content, other than news, and, depending on the market, a daily talk show. But that's still quite a bit of something. What broadcast and cable still have is "live." SPORTS. Talk shows. Talking heads. Music contests. In fact, contests, contests, contests. And, it is still where you can see content first. A fan of Doctor Who? Well, of course you can download all the shows--and most likely will--but you want to see it "the moment" its available to you. Jim and Pam's wedding. you wanted to see it when it aired. And the final season of Breaking Bad? If you're into it, you're not planning on waiting.

Frankly, to suggest that it is one or the other, youtube or broadcast TV, is just to have not given it anywhere near enough thought. The answer is that its all of it. Radio is still around too, you know. And youtube will have to work really hard to be something more than video's Pineterst.


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Andrew Kimery
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 4, 2013 at 7:42:00 pm

[Bill Davis] "The Apple bet is that there are more people who want a smaller set of newer tools, than who need to remain compatible with historical broadcast and movie workflows. "

I would take that a step further and say that Apple bets there is a large and growing group of people that edit as part of the job but their job is not to be an editor. Accessibility is more important when the user isn't spending day in and day out on the software and I think that was a major factor in the rethinking of FCP.

As far as web-centric uses goes, I think FCP X having a leg up depends on the situation. I've spent a number of years working primarily with web/digital content for large companies like Viacom, AT&T, Sony, Microsoft, etc., and web-ready files rarely ever came out of our NLE's. We'd generate high quality exports and hand those off to either our in-house compression team or directly to the client who would then have their own team. We cut on FCP legend and I don't think using X would've made a difference when it came to delivering our final cuts. As an aside, they are still using FCP 7 over there and are leaning towards Pr as that would most seamlessly drop into the existing workflows (a dozen producers and editors are working on overlapping projects year round so change is always deliberate and methodical). I think the updates in CS Next might finally get them to pull the trigger and switch.

On the flip side I was an assistant editor on an indie doc ***shameless plug*** called American Winter about the crumbling middle class in the US which you can catch on HBO/HBO GO ***shameless plug*** cut on FCP Legend where we used Vimeo to share cuts and having a direct Share to Vimeo feature would've made my life easier.

As you and Dennis have said, time will tell in the end but the different approaches are interesting. Apple seemed to jump feet first into new workflows and then spent a lot of time 'adding back' features that didn't make the initial jump while Adobe and Avid have been adding new workflow features at a steady pace and are easing into the future rather than jumping into it.




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Chris Harlan
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 4, 2013 at 8:49:46 pm

[Bill Davis] "The Adobe camp is betting that their "hybrid" approach "

There is nothing "hybrid" about it. Thoroughbred, maybe. "Hybrid" would be more applicable to any program out there that was gene-spliced with, oh, say, iPhoto.


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Bill Davis
Re: Post NAB piece on the struggles of the big broadcast players in the modern era.
on May 4, 2013 at 11:26:30 pm

[Chris Harlan] "any program out there that was gene-spliced with, oh, say, iPhoto."

Oh, very nice of you to mention Lightroom!

(ducking head now)

Know someone who teaches video editing in elementary school, high school or college? Tell them to check out http://www.StartEditingNow.com - video editing curriculum complete with licensed practice content.


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